We are less than 12 hours away from the first day of Firefly Events and Camping, and seeing as this years lineup is expected to draw quite a crowd, we decided to put together a guide to help you sail smoothly through your weekend in The Woodlands. Since we already released a “Must-See” set list, I'm going to touch base on travel, comfort, vendors, and all of the other important things outside of the music that you you want to know going into this experience whether it is your first time or you are a returning attendee.
Firefly is provides an extremely organic and friendly festival environment that really puts on a clinic for how a camping festival should be. Cars and campers are neatly aligned with spacious camp sites that allow attendees to enjoy tons of fun games in between sets like like cornhole and can-jam (If you don't know, you're missing out!). All of that being said, The Woodlands is also a lot of ground to cover between all of the stages being spread out, and sometimes having quite the hike back to your camp site. So whether it's for fun and games, or simply making your weekend in The Woodlands run as smoothly as possible, I have compiled a list of things you might consider including when doing your packing for the weekend.
Sun Block: Common sense, you say? it really is…but don't be surprised when one of your friends or campground neighbors ask to borrow some because they ran out by the end of day 2 and are frying in the sun. I can't stress this one enough! If you think you have enough sun block, grab 3 more bottles. Spray, lotion, the whole nine yards. Your skin will thank you come Monday morning.
Comfortable Sneakers: You will often see people walking around enjoying the beautiful summertime weather in flip flops. It seems like a good idea until you have been walking and dancing for 6 hours and start to come to the realization that you have 6 more hours of walking and dancing before you can get to a pair of shoes fit for the job. Even worse, if it rains (Knock on wood), The Woodlands becomes quite the mud pit in certain areas. The last thing you want is your feet caked in mud until you find a place to rinse them off. Bring 2 pairs to be safe.
Rain Gear: If the forecast isn't calling for rain, it's safe to always assume it's going to rain anyway. This way you aren't “That Guy” when it rains and the only clothes you brought with you, your tent, and your sleeping bag are soaking wet. Bring a rain poncho (Or a bathing suit, then it's a party), a second pair of shoes, some ziplock bags for your electronic devices, and a tarp to cover the top of your tent or the floor of the tent if it gets that bad.
Camelback: If you haven't seen a camelback before, it is a backpack that can hold your water and has a mouthpiece for you to drink out of on the go. You don't want to have to make a water run halfway through every set, especially with how long the lines can get once the sun is baking in the afternoon. You can find them at places like Walmart, Target, or Dicks Sporting Goods.
Portable Charger: Not so you can be on your cell phone for the entire festival, but because it's easier than losing your friends and not be able to find them for hours on end if your phone dies. More importantly, do you want to miss the opportunity to snag a selfie with Bob Dylan?…Because I don't want to miss the opportunity to snag a selfie with Bob Dylan.
Attractions and Vendors:
The Food trucks and vendors at Firefly both have plenty to offer. There is a large variety of different places to eat, from cheesesteaks and craft brews to fruit smoothies and 2 story ice cream sammies. Be sure to check out local food vendor Roaming Raven, the traveling food truck of Main Street's most happening spot, Deer Park Tavern, based out of Newark, Delaware.
Vendors scattered throughout the hubs and within The Woodlands provide all types of festival gear and souvenirs. In this category, Firefly continues to support a number of different local businesses such as Toe Ring Expressions, which offers jewelry, tapestries, skirts, scarves, and more, owned and operated right in Smyrna, Delaware.
Firefly is bringing back what seems to be a festival favorite attraction, the silent disco party in The Thicket. Everyone gets their own headphones and can choose from a variety of artists to dance to, and it is an absolute blast to watch everyone dancing when you take the headphones off as well. The Nook, formerly known as Hammock Hangout, is another returning attraction that returning attendees all know and love. Bring a hammock or just hangout and enjoy the flatness of the earth for a moment of peace in between your favorite sets. Be sure to take a break once in awhile to experience all of the awesome attractions and vendors Firefly has to offer.
Travel To The Festival:
With Delaware being the second smallest state and Firefly being one of its biggest tourist attractions, the traffic on the main roads is a force to be reckoned with. The week of Firefly, Route 13 and Route 1 leading into Dover are both jam-packed with festival-goers traveling into The Woodlands from all corners of the world. Luckily for those of you traveling, Delaware has a beautiful scenic back road running through a good portion of the state that will direct you straight into The Woodlands called Route 9. Not only do you get to experience the phenomenal scenery that Delaware has to offer, but you get to bypass the thousands of attendees and Delaware residents sitting in stand still traffic on Route 13 heading into Dover. A fun fact for those of you traveling to Dover, Delaware for the first time: There are 10 Traffic Lights in less than 2 miles between the Route 1 interstate exit and Dover International Raceway where The Woodlands are located, and any local will tell you that you are almost guaranteed to catch every light. This is a heavily congested area on any given day, let alone during one of the largest tourist attractions the state has to offer. That being said, Route 9 may be your saving grace when it comes to getting to and from Firefly.
From The North:
You can access Route 9 as far North as Wilmington, and from almost anywhere on Route 13 or Route 1, you can jump off an exit and make your way out to Route 9 and make your way around the traffic lights and congestion.
In your GPS, look up “Eden Park, 900 New Castle Avenue, New Castle DE 19801”. Traveling Southbound, Eden Park will be on your left and the road it sits on is Route 9. Head straight on Route 9 and make a right onto “Persimmon Tree Road” when you get to Dover. This leads you right into the rear entrance of The Woodlands.
From The South:
You can access Route 9 in South Dover just before the Dover Air Force Base. Take the Route 9 exit from Route 1, head straight for about 5 miles on Route 9 and make a left onto “Persimmon Tree Road”. This leads you right into the rear entrance of The Woodlands.
For more information about Firefly and all that it has to offer, visit https://fireflyfestival.com/experience/